Scallops with Champagne Custard

Baked scallops
(image courtesy of saveur.com)

This recipe comes to us from Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard (See “A Little Love; A Little Lava..). With only 5 ingredients, this scallop recipe is sure to please any seafood lover – like myself. It’s a little bit of work, but trust me, the taste is WORTH IT.

Scallops with Champagne Custard

12 scallops, in their shells
3/4 cup of champagne (I prefer a sweeter one, but it’s entirely up to you)
3/4 cup of fish OR chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks

Serves: 3 – 4 as an appetizer

1. Shell and rinse the scallops to remove any dirt or sand; set aside in a bowl at room temperature.
2. Rinse the top half of each scallop and set aside for baking/serving.
3. Over medium heat in a small saucepan, reduce the champagne to about half; set aside to cool down.
4. In another saucepan, combine stock and any scallop juices and reduce to half.
5. Lower the heat and add the heavy cream; Quickly bring to just a boil, then take off the heat.
6. In a mixing bowl, mix the cooled champagne, add the egg yolks and whisk until foamy.
7. Slowly, add the cream mixture and whisk continuously – this is the beginning of your custard.
8. Transfer this mixture back to a saucepan, and over LOW heat, whisk custard until it coats the back of a wooden spoon (this may take 10 – 15 minutes).
9. Preheat the broiler.
10. Cut each scallop in half horizontally so you have two coins per scallop.
11. Arrange 6 shells per baking sheet, and top off the shells with a scallop coin and 1 – 2 tablespoons of the custard.
12. Cook each pan individually (6 halved scallops per pan = 4 pans) under the broiler for 1 – 2 minutes
13. Serve right away!

TIP: DO NOT rush the custard cooking time by turning up the heat – this may cause the custard to cook too fast and separate. Also, if you prefer your scallops to well done, precook the scallops in a saucepan before baking in the oven. Topping off the scallops with some chopped green onions or bacon bits can also add a nice kick to your flavor!

Enjoy!

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A Little Love; A Little Lava..

Molten Lava Cakes
(image courtesy of onceuponachef.com)

While my camera is out of commission at the worst possible time, I thought I would make my very first post about a book that inspired me in a way that you can only read about in movies; a book that blends together visions of the perfect city, perfect love life, and perfect chocolate cake. Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard is a book I not only refer to for authentic French Cuisine, but for when I want to close my eyes and pretend for just a second I’m strolling through the Passage Vivienne. If you haven’t visited her blog, I highly suggest you drop whatever you are doing, grab a glass of wine, get into a hot bubbly bathtub, and READ IT. I don’t doubt many of my posts will focus on this culinary marvel.

Out of all the delectable recipes to follow each chapter of her book, there is one in particular that gets my chocolate-infused blood boiling. Her Molten Cake recipe will make any chocoholic bow down to it in all its glory. Perfect for date night or a quiet night in with the girls, this recipe is sure to wow you and your guests!

Individual Molten Chocolate Cakes

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ounces dark chocolate (Bard prefers at least 70% cocoa)
A pinch of sea salt
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour

Serves: 6

1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Melt the dark chocolate and unsalted butter in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler (I use a pot with an inch of warm water, and melt my ingredients in another pot on top of the water), and add a pinch of the sea salt.
3. During this time, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until foamy and light.
4. Add the egg mixture to the melted chocolate, and whisk quickly to combine the ingredients.
5. Add the flour to the chocolate/egg mixture and stir to combine. The mixture will be thick.
6. Divide the batter evenly between the molds. (Bard suggests foil molds stacked to preferred thickness, or to use small buttered ramekins.
7. Bake 7 minutes for a liquid-chocolate center; 8 minutes for a gooey chocolate center.
8. GENTLY pop out of molds.

I like to top mine with powdered sugar and a couple raspberries to add some tartness to balance the sweetness of the chocolate. Also, a big, tall glass of cold milk is essential to the perfect bite.

TIP: If your making the batter ahead of time, you CAN refrigerate it, but make sure you bring the batter back up to room temperature before you bake.

Once again, a big thank you to Elizabeth Bard for her inspiring book and delicious recipes. You can check out her blog at elizabethbard.com.